Dumfriesshire politicians David Mundell and Oliver Mundell have both hit out at a report which has laid bare the shocking state of the region’s roads.
Audit Scotland’s ‘Maintaining Scotland’s Roads’ report shows that less than half of the roads in Dumfries and Galloway in 2014/15 were in an acceptable condition prompting the MP and MSP to demand that Dumfries and Galloway Council take urgent action to dramatically improve the state of the roads.
Dumfries and Galloway Council also had the lowest average annual spend between 2011/12 and 2014/15 per kilometre of the road network of £2,052- despite a 188% increase in spending over this period.
Commenting David Mundell MP said: “This report by Audit Scotland is a truly damning verdict on the council’s lack of investment and care for the roads in this region as well as their failure to come up with a proper strategy to deal with repairs.
“The state of the roads is always one of the major issues raised to me by constituents and disgracefully this report shows that the situation is getting worse for motorists and not better.
“Despite the council’s huge spending increases in recent years, the money clearly isn’t being used in the right areas with many of our rural roads being unfit to drive on, never mind being just ‘unacceptable’.
“Having our roads in a dire state is harmful to our businesses and for attracting visitors to the area and it is high time the council looked again at their strategy for dealing with road repairs which is currently focused in the wrong areas and all too often see patch up jobs rather than long-term solutions.
“The council should be ashamed that the roads in Dumfries and Galloway have been officially revealed as the second worst out of 32 local authority areas in Scotland.”
Adding to the criticism, Oliver Mundell MSP commented: “Driving around Dumfriesshire on constituency business, I have felt first-hand how badly the roads in this region currently are.
“Dumfries and Galloway Council urgently need to come up with a strategy that delivers repairs that makes motorists confident about driving on rural roads rather than fearing damages to their vehicles.
“Whilst a spending increase of almost 200% is welcome, I made it clear during the election campaign that I would much rather see a change in policy, rather than just continually throwing money at the problem.
“The council need to prioritise the roads that are most frequently complained about and ensure that they are fixed to the highest of standards and for that to happen, I would like to see local workers employed across towns and villages in the constituency to carry out proper checks on road repair jobs.
“I am also going to press the Scottish Government to set up a rural pothole repairs fund of which I’d hope Dumfries and Galloway council would receive a large sum of, considering the findings of the Audit Scotland report.
“Reports like this will just confirm to motorists what they have thought for a number of years; that the roads in this area just aren’t fit for purpose and require urgent attention.”